I don’t have a lot of deep insights to share with you about the Belmont branch of the Multnomah County Library system. What I can tell you is that I left this small-ish branch library more enamored with libraries in Portland and with the people of Portland, than I was when I went in.
Despite its small size, the library had a decent sized collection of DVDs, graphic novels, and zines as well as adult, children’s and teen materials. What really stood out as unique, though, were the small Staff Picks section:
and the crazy amount of materials on hold:
The people of Portland must either a. love to read or b. hate to pickup library materials – I’m hoping it’s a. Either way, it was encouraging to see that people had taken the time to request so many books! That and the sheer number of people visting the library at the same time as I was gave me the impression that this small branch was really an important part of the neighborhood.
On my way out I took the time to check out the community board. I was glad I did, since I spotted a flier for a talk at the library dedicated to answering one of my longstanding questions:
Why aren’t there more black people in Oregon? (It’s the second from the top on the right.) I wish I could have stayed in town long enough to learn more, but even though I couldn’t attend I was encouraged to see the library hosting discussions on topics like race, that some shy away from.
So if you find yourself in Portland and want to be reminded of the wonderfulness of branch libraries or if you simply want to enjoy a dry seat and a book recommended by a library staff person, stop into the Belmont library. For hours and additional information, check their website at https://multcolib.org/library-location/belmont